One of the 20th century ’ s landmark plays , Arthur Miller ’ s The Crucible stands as both a historical record and a political parable for our times . In a small 17thcentury New England town a children ’ s game has terrifying consequences as allegations of witchcraft break out . Quickly caught up in an unstoppable flow of paranoia , accusation and manipulation , the community is consumed by a climate of suspicion where no person is safe from its neighbour . An allegory of the chilling McCarthyism of American politics in the 1950s , The Crucible also serves as a warning to future generations . Enter the world of sensationalism , hysteria and the power of celebrity that was the Salem Witch Trials and ask yourself how innocent we can really be as we stand by and watch a witch-hunt unfold .